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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  March 21, 2012 6:00am-6:30am PDT

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welcome to "newsline." i'm michio kijima in tokyo. soldiers loyal to syrian president bashar al assad are making advances in their campaign against antigovernment groups. they've been using relentless force in their fight to control free syrian army strongholds. the conflict has been going on for more than a year now. 8,000 people have died. syrian troops used tanks on monday and tuesday to attack
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opposition in deir al zor. the city is near the country's eastern border. a human rights activist says the assault killed many civilians and that members of the free syrian army fled the city. president assad is targeting deir al zor because it's believed the opposition uses the city as a gateway to smuggle in large quantities of weapons from neighboring iraq. it is the third rebel stronghold to fall. government forces have already taken the central city of homs and northern city of idlib. the united nations is trying to find a way to end the hostilities. assad's government has accepted a u.n. fact-finding team looking into humanitarian aid activities. it has also agreed to allow in experts who will discuss the formation of a group to monitor any cease-fire. still, syrian soldiers show little sign of letting up in their attacks. russia has offered conditional support for a u.n. security council statement designed to end the crisis. foreign minister sergey lavrov made some of his toughest
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comments yet. the security council has been negotiating a statement to express its support for the mission of the u.n. and arab league special envoy kofi annan. the former u.n. secretary-general has been working to persuade syrian president bashar al assad to stop the crackdown on civilians. lavrov said russia is ready to endorse the statement in a legally binding resolution. he cited two conditions. annan's proposals must be presented to the security council in written form and the u.n. must not present an ultimatum to the syrian government. russia has strong ties with the assad administration. the country has twice vetoed a draft security council resolution condemning syria. our senior commentator and former middle east correspondent nobuhisa degawa joins us now. nobuhisa, syrian forces have gained ground, what does that mean for the assad administration's fight to control the country?
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>> it needs to continue to win back territory. the other administration wants to stop anti-government forces from expanding across the country. assad has proven he's determined to do whatever it takes to stop the opposition. his concern is if anti-government groups reach the capital of damascus, they would oust him from power. the administration is quite desperate, i think. >> what do you think will happen in the coming days and weeks? >> the free syrian army is no match for government forces militarily, but it's unlikely it will give up on its quest to topple the assad administration. i don't think syria will be stable in the near future. it will be difficult for russia and china to continue to veto u.n. resolutions against syria, especially if the number of dead from the government crackdown
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reaches 20,000 to 30,000. plus, if more women and children are killed, more syrian army soldiers could defect in protest. in my view, the assad administration has lost legitimacy. its fall is inevitable. the question now is how long will it take for that to happen and how many lives will be lost in battle. another concern is that no one has emerged as a prospective leader in post-assad syria. if the situation continues, the country could plunge into a civil war. that will throw the whole region into turmoil. and this is my biggest concern, actually. >> thank you. japan aerospace exploration will launch on may 18th a rocket carrying satellite for water observation. it will orbit the earth at an
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altitude of 700 kilometers to capture very weak radio waves released by water on the earth's surface. data collected is expected to help in calculating fluctuations in ocean surface temperatures and these can affect the climate, and arctic ice masses. the rocket carrying it is to blast off from japan's southern island. it will also have onboard a south korean satellite with a high resolution camera for observing the earth. it is the first time for japan to receive an order of this type from a foreign country. french police exchanged gunfire from a manholed up from his home in tolouse on sunday. the police raided his home near a school. two police officers were injured in the shootout and they were unable to capture him. the house of the french suspect
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of algerian origin is now under siege by the police. french interior minister was at the scene and he said the man claimed to be a member of al qaeda, and has spent considerable time in afghanistan. he said the man also hinted that he killed the people in retaliation for israel's occupation of palestine. the man is also suspected of killing three soldiers of north african origin last week near toulouse, where a gunman also carried out a drive-by shooting. the 6,200-ton ship was commissioned by the japan oil, gas and meadows national corporation. the government affiliate body will use the ship's advanced technology to probe domestic waters for untapped reserves,
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such as rare metals and methane hydrates. rare metals are used for mobile phones and cars. japanese makers rely heavily on their importation. the vessel features a large crane that can bore as deep as 400 meters into the seabed to estimate reserves more accurately. the vessel also has a stabilizing function to allow kak tiths to continue in strong winds and swift currents. >> translator: we hope to get the availability of the marine resources for practical use. we're trying to develop new technologies to effectively es ka vat those mineral resources. >> the ship will go into use in april off southern japan's most southern-most prefecture of okinawa. more than a quarter century after the accident in chernobyl,
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russia is limiting restrictions on sheep. they were introduced following the accident when high levels of radiation were defected in sheep raised on gas in parts of britain. fallout from the accident affected wide areas of europe. the prevention requires testing of sheep for radiation before farmers can take them to market. it bans shipment of meat with radioactive substances above the limit. they have now confirmed the sheep meat from areas still under the restrictions is safe to eat. and the association of farmers in britain has urged the government to clearly explain the reasons for lifting the restrictions to avoid causing public anxiety. south koreans raised their voices against the chinese government. they've been protesting for more
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than a month to get beijing to stop sending north korean defectors back home. about 500 south koreans took part in a protest in seoul on saturday, organized by humanitarian groups. north koreans lead their country for deplorable conditions. most defectors cross the river on the northern border. there are estimated to be as many as 100,000 defectors hiding in china. from there, they try to find their way to south korea. but chinese government officials have clamped down. they send about 5,000 defectors a year back to the north. south koreans are working on a number of fronts to get the chinese to stop. nhk world reports. >> reporter: the movie "crossing" released in 2008 gave south koreans a graphic look at the harsh treatment meted out to
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north korean defectors. now reports out of the north have raised concerns even higher. are authorities agreed to have stepped up punishment for the defections. three generations of the defectors' families are to be executed if the escape came during the rain of kim jung il. in south korea, some people are signing petitions hoping to stop the chinese from the repatriations. a defector in his 20s is taking part in the campaign. when she was a child, he and his parents fled to china. after the parents died, police captured him. subjecting him to harsh questioning, they tried to find out if he planned to go to south
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korea. >> translator: to force a confession out of me, they handcuffed me, tied me to a bed. they wouldn't let me sleep for two days. but i didn't confess. >> reporter: eventually chinese authorities sent him to north korea. for three years, he spent time in a labor camp, just like defectors in the movie. after his release, he made it to south korea, but it was a close call. >> translator: china is cruel to people who defect to stay alive. they send them to their deaths. >> reporter: these human rights workers from south korea give people who want to escape from the north during the last decade. the group smuggled some 380
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fugitives out of china into south korea. if the chinese police catch group members, they will be forced to pay a huge fine. >> translator: private groups like us are weak. so we have no choice but to appeal to the international community. we want it to pressure north korea to free the defectors. >> reporter: now south korea's government has become more involved in the issue. on february 27th, a south korean delegate raised the matter at the meeting of the u.n. human rights council. it was the first time the country official appeared to the body. >> i appear to the human conscience of all who is involved in this issue for the protection of the basic human rights of those asylum seekers from the dprk. >> reporter: china's response
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was swift. >> translator: north korean defectors are entering china illegally. the issue does not concern the international community. >> reporter: at the session on march 12th, emotions run high, as a north korean diplomat was leaving. he assaulted a female south korean. the skirmish shows just how difficult it will be to resolve this issue. >> why are so many south koreans turning out for these protests? >> yes. they fear north korea's new leader may order more extreme punishment for defectors. authorities in china are deported many last month. protesters in seoul have rallied
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outside china's embassy every day since. >> what will the south korean government do next? >> yes. south korea has had talks with their chinese counterparts about the negotiations. so government in seoul has taken the matter up with the u.n. and with the americans. south korean king sung wan met earlier this month with secretary of state hillary clinton. kim asked her and other u.s. leaders to use their influence to urge beijing not to send the defectors back. some americans, too, seem passionate about the issue. protesters demonstrated on tuesday in front of china's embassy in washington, and in three other cities. south korean leaders are expected to bring up the issue at an upcoming meeting with the chinese counterparts. they will meet on the sideline of a nuclear summit in seoul
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that starts next sunday. >> let's wait and see what happens at the upcoming meeting. reporting for us tonight. thanks. time to check on some of the stories we've gathered from broadcasters throughout asia. we're going to begin tonight with this item sent to us from india. work at southern india's controversial nuclear power plant resumed on tuesday, seven months after protesters of villagers halted construction. the work resumed after the government concluded that the plant has the best safety features, and there is no risk of earthquakes or tsunamis. authorities have already arrested more than 200 protesters. the delay has so far cost the equivalent of $200 million to the plant's operator. a campaign is to double the
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country's income in five years. they named 2012 as miracle thailand year. leaders of various agencies and private businesses attended the event. she also asked to improve their services and products to attract more tourists. as one of the key sectors of the thai economy, tourism was expected to contribute about 30 billion to the national purse last year. iranians celebrated the persian new year on monday. the festival marks the first day of spring, and represents renewal and change. it has a history of at least 3,000 years and is observed in various partsf western and southern asia. during the new year festivities, people visit shrines and mosques and pay respect to their senior family members. they also exchange gifts and greetings with their relatives and friends.
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the custom is for people to arrange seven items, including apples, garlic and coi their homes. the items are believed to bring health, love, beauty and fertility in the coming year. ment ahmadinejad celebrated at an orphanage in tehran. he asked the authorities to pay more attention to their education and health. one year has passed since the massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated coastal areas in northeastern japan. the disaster deprived many companies of their facilities and customers. as they continue to struggle, trying to find a way to rebuild their businesses, some businesses are seeking opportunities in china where consumption is strong. >> reporter: this company is
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moving to the northeastern city in november. this man was an executive of the headquarters. but now he is spearheading the operations of the shop in china at the present. the disaster brought serious damage to his company in sendai. such as destroying the scenery. the company also lost 20% of its customers. and that prompted the company to advance to china. their services are becoming more popular among the business people in daria. the chinese office has yet to make a profit, but the owner is optimistic. >> translator: we think this market will be larger than japan in the future. >> reporter: but doing business in a different country has been very difficult for him.
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workers were using the same cutting board for all kinds of food stuffs. he instructed them to use boards of different colors for different types of foods. for coordination between kitchen workers and delivery people is also a problem. it makes the counter quickly cluttered with yet to be delivered lunches. so he set aside a space for sorting lunch boxes adjacent to the counter. he also tries to keep employees' spirits high by praising them instead of telling them what they are doing wrong. >> translator: you have made the kitchen clean. it's very good to follow rules. >> translator: what the
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president tells us sometimes seems like nitpicking to me. but practicing what he says really works. >> translator: i hope that my company can help revitalize other enterprises in the disaster-hit region. >> reporter: another company is making efforts to market japanese products to china. a metal die parts maker set up a trading company in china last november. sales plunged 40% after the disaster. the company decided to do business in china, because domestic demand was expected to weaken even more. the president is focusing on selling made in japan products to chinese businesses. >> translator: we need to make products that are competitive overseas.
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we also have to get close to the market to sell them. >> reporter: hareyama knows about the chinese market, but he thinks he has to start somewhere for finding potential customers. on this day, he is meeting a customer with a device that affixes metal to a product. its price is about six times higher than single chinese products, but he tells the customer his products includes more efficiency. >> translator: so, we'll take this one. >> reporter: his sales pitch made the deal. the chinese customer decided to try out the product. >> translator: now i'm happy. i can see a brighter future. i'll do my best. >> reporter: japanese companies have been facing fears and struggles after the disaster. but now they are making the
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first step forward into china. with their knowledge and expertise they have developed over many years. and here are the latest market figures. let's get a check of the weather. cherry trees are starting to
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bloom in japan. >> yes, that's right. spring is on its way. let's take a look at the pictures coming up from kochi prefecture. it marks japan's first blossom of this season. the cherry blossoms in kochi appeared a day earlier than last year due to the large temperature differential. the pink blossoms are expected to be in full bloom in 7 to 10 days from now. so we're expecting things to bloom in tokyo as well in the near future. all right. in japan, high pressure will be predominant. we have a low pressure system that will be moving across hokkaido, and it will skirt some light snow showers. nothing too significant. but we have a significant potent rainmaker that is moving across central china towards the eastern china, and then southern korea, reaching the area by the next 24 hours. so the next 24, 48, it will be reaching western japan and covering much of the country
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here in japan across the weekend. things are actually very warm. southerly winds ahead of this system will make the temperature on the rise. even the precipitation that will be covering in the tohoku regions will be rain rather than snow in the weekend. these are very heavy -- could be heavy at times in and around these areas in china, though, so we're expecting accumulation, as much as 100 millimeters in the next 24 hours. scattered showers and thundery activity will be persistent here for the next couple of days in the philippines. manila, 30 degrees temperaturewise. misty in the morning and nighttime for you in hong kong at 22, as well as taipei. tokyo reaching up to 17 degrees for thursday. so that's going to be warm for us tomorrow. heading over to the americas now, it's going to be very severe here in the southern plains area, especially in louisiana, arkansas and mississippi, where the rain is ongoing for a few days now.
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and that's going to be a huge concern for flash flooding as well as some flooding. we have cold air surging in towards this frontal system. and out towards the eastern area, the high pressure that's responsible for the warmth that is persisting is very strong, remaining strong. so that's why this system cannot move. it's almost stationary in this area. heavy downpours of about 100 millimeters already reported in louisiana and mississippi. in the similar areas, showers are going to be continuing. it will be slightly weakening and slightly moving toward the east. but it looks like it will be remaining here, and severe thunderstorms are going to be including tornadic activity. gusts up to about 100 kilometers per hour, and even some hail is not out of the question. out towards the pacific northwest, another wintry mess to be seen in the cascades. wet snow will be piling up in coastal regions in oregon and northern california, will see
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some heavy accumulation of rainfall there as well. toronto, chicago, new york and washington, d.c., reaching up to 26 degrees on thursday for washington, d.c. heading over to europe now, here in western norway, especially coastal heavy rain is going to be targeted there with strong winds. and wintry precipitation in eastern spain as well as western france. temperaturewise, things are looking in the double digits, mainly down here in the single digit range. here's your extended forecast.
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and that's our broadcast for this hour on "newsline." we'll be back with more news in half an hour. i'm michio kijima in tokyo. thank you for watching. bye-bye.
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